I have just returned home from a 10 day trip to Burkina Faso, Africa. I saw hunger, disease, hope, joy, generosity. I felt hot, dusty, thirsty, loved, appreciated, encouraged, hospitality, inspired. I was filled with heart-breaking experiences that consumed my heart with compassion. I wish I could put it into one simple post and tell you what what all this means. But I cannot.
The next morning, we took a short trip to see where a well was being dug and a new church was being built. This church was being funded by the youth group at Pastor Daniel’s church. He, and Pastor Bill, both from Minnesota, were with our team on this trip.
I stepped out into the sunshine and everything felt right as my feet hit the ground. As we listened to our missionary friends, we learned that as wells are requested the offer to help build a church can come with. With Living Water being offered, a place to worship would be nice! This was one morning when I knew God was working in my heart.
I stepped out into the sunshine and saw this: the crude, simple beginnings of a church. It is such because then the people who live there can add the walls when able. They can start with straw, then mud, and eventually brick. And the sides can easily be expanded for growth. The goal is not to come in and do every thing for the people. The goal is to help the people do it themselves. In their way.
I stepped into the sunshine and felt closer to God here. Not really sure why. But as we looked around, we were told that the fifteen new Christians, from last night, had been here at the crack of dawn! This was to be their new church! And they were eager to be there! How cool is that?!
Unfortunately they were gone by the time we got there. But word does travel fast, because before long, one came back! His smile was more than we could have asked to see. His smile was beautiful.
I stepped into the sunshine that day feeling that somewhere God was smiling and heaven was rejoicing over this very man. And then we laid hands on him and prayed. It was, indeed, a moment where everything was right. And I walked away from there with a vivid picture of a green and healthy place. A place rich with God and His abundance. A place with a future and a hope. A place with a tomorrow.
I stepped into the sunshine that day and found that we can do more than provide clean water for a village. We talked about endless opportunities: clean water -yes; Living Water – YES!; a place of worship; help with irrigation and better crops; oxen and plows to plant those crops; better, easier ways to grind corn and other grains; education for the children; medical attention for everyone; the list goes on and on.
God continues to work in my heart about this. To be in relationship with a village, become friends with the people who live there, and help them have a better chance at life, warms me. And I will continue to talk with Him about it! Because together, I think we can do come cool stuff here.